Dec. 10

The NHL awards an expansion franchise to H. Wayne Huizenga, Chairman of Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation. Huizenga announces he'll operate the team in South Florida.


The NHL and Huizenga announce that South Florida will join the NHL in time for the 1993-94 season. Hall of Famer Bob Clarke is named Vice President and General Manager.

Apr. 19

Future Hall Of Famer William A. Torrey is named franchise's President. The Club is officially named the FLORIDA PANTHERS.

Apr. 21

Dean Jordan is named Vice President of Business Operations and Alternate Governor.

Future Hall Of Famer Roger Neilson is named the first head coach of the Florida Panthers.

June 14

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman presents Panthers owner H. Wayne Huizenga with official certificate of entry into the National Hockey League. The Panthers unveil home and road uniforms, along with primary and secondary logos. The team colors are navy blue, red and yellow-gold.

June 24

The Panthers select goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck with the first pick of the 1993 NHL Expansion Draft in Quebec City. In all, Florida selects 24 players.

Overall Player Pos. Team From
1 John Vanbiesbrouck G Vancouver
4 Mark Fitzpatrick G Quebec
5 Darren Puppa G Toronto
7 Milan Tichy D Chicago
10 Paul Laus D Pittsburgh
12 Joe Cirella D NY Rangers
13 Alexander Godynyuk D Calgary
15 Gord Murphy D Dallas
18 Steve Bancroft D Winnipeg
20 Stephane Richer D Boston
21 Gord Hynes D Philadelphia
24 Tom Fitzgerald C/RW NY Islanders
25 Jesse Belanger C Montreal
27 Scott Levins C Winnipeg
30 Scott Mellanby RW Edmonton
32 Brian Skrudland C Calgary
33 Mike Hough LW Washington
35 Dave Lowry LW St. Louis
38 Bill Lindsay LW Quebec
40 Andrei Lomakin RW Philadelphia
41 Randy Gilhen C Tampa Bay
43 Doug Barrault LW Dallas
46 Marc LaBelle LW Ottawa
48 Pete Stauber LW Detroit

June 26

At Le Coisee in Quebec City, the Panthers select forward Rob Niedermayer with the team's first-ever Entry Draft pick. Florida chooses 13 amateur players in the draft.



NY Islanders Hall of Fame netminder Bill Smith is named the Panthers' goaltending coach.

July 28

The Panthers unveil artwork of the inaugural logo created for the team's first season. Seven players visit South Florida and begin a week-long promotional tour. The players include goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck, forwards Rob Niedermayer, Scott Mellanby, Dave Lowry, Brian Skrudland and Andrei Lomakin and defenseman Joe Cirella.


In their first-ever trade, the Panthers acquire forward Jason Cirone from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Dave Tomlinson. Florida had acquired Tomlinson from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for future considerations.


The temperature drops to 22 degrees as Miami Arena makes ice for the Panthers' inaugural season.

Sept. 11

Fifty-two players report to Miami Arena for the Panthers' first training camp.

Sept. 16

The Panthers open their inaugural eight-game preseason schedule against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Lakeland (FL) Civic Center.


The Panthers travel to Chicago Stadium and skate to a 4-4 tie with the Blackhawks in the team's first-ever regular season game. Right wing Scott Mellanby scores the Panthers' first goal at 12:31 of the opening period.

1993-94 SEASON
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